Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day is on the 1st December every year.
It gives people around the world the opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV.
Through community events and in private we gather to show support for people currently living with HIV, while commemorating those no longer with us having lost the fight to an AIDS-related illness.
In the 34 years since the virus was first identified more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
The theme this year is “Know your status” So I thought I should know my own.
I ordered a test online from here, there was just a few questions and it was on its way to me.
When it arrived I questioned why was I even doing this…
I’ve always been careful with my sexual partners
Don’t forget there could be up to 8,000 people walking around in the UK unaware they have the virus because they thought how I did.
However with identification of status it can lead to a more favourable prognosis.
So I did the test
It was negative.
I was not one of the 101,000 people in the UK living with HIV.
This Year around 5,000 people will get a positive result.
What if that result had been different?
Did you know once someone has been on effective HIV medication (antiretroviral) for around 6 months, it can reduce the amount of the virus in the blood to undetectable levels.
This means the levels of HIV are so low that the virus cannot be passed on.
Over 90% of people diagnosed with HIV in the UK are on continuous effective treatment and undetectable.
People who are diagnosed with HIV are protected under the 2010 Equality Act
There’s no legal obligation to tell your employer you have HIV, unless you have a frontline job in the armed forces or work in a healthcare role where you perform invasive procedures.
You are protected against direct, perceptive and associative discrimination in Law.
If your treatment for HIV is affecting your ability to work for instance then proactive disclosure can facilitate an employer to be supportive and consider flexible working.
Your employer has a duty to ensure that staff are aware that harassment and unwanted behaviour is not tolerated within your workplace.
Know Your Rights
Know your status